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FDA device will screen for fake medicines

WASHINGTON — US health officials are making a high-tech screening device available in ­Africa to help spot counterfeit malaria pills in hopes that the technology could be used to combat the fake drug trade.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that US partners in Ghana will begin using a device to screen for fake or diluted versions of two malaria pills.

More than a third of pills in Africa and Asia are fake or poor quality, a study said last year.

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Designed by FDA forensic scientists, the handheld device shoots different wavelengths of light to determine a product’s authenticity.